Illinois Reports Highest One-Day Death Toll

Apr 18, 2020

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the highest one-day death toll due to COVID-19 with 125 lives lost. The total confirmed cases has reached 29,160, with 1,259 deaths. Sangamon County reported another death Friday, bringing its total to five.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said there is some good news.

“It is with some guarded optimism that we say that the growth is slowing,” Ezike said. “That is definitely a good thing, but we must continue to be strong and hold the line.” 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state has yet to reach its peak of confirmed cases and that the  stay-at-home order and other restrictions will stay in place until after that peak is reached. The state will then need to have 14 days of declines in hospitalizations before those restrictions can be lifted. The timeline is similar to that of the White House’s plan to reopen the economy, a part that Pritzker said he agrees with. 

Meanwhile, protestors have lobbied governors in Indiana, Michigan and other states to ease restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus. 

Asked about the protests, Pritzker responded: “I want to remove the restraints as much as anybody else does, and I’m going to do it based on science.” 

Pritzker also announced an expansion to the remote patient monitoring program, a free, statewide telehealth service for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and can recover from home. Advocate Healthcare will provide  virtual care in northern Illinois including the Chicago metropolitan area. OSF will serve central Illinois, Metro East and Rockford, and SIU Medicine southern and west central Illinois. 

Trained healthcare workers will call those who are eligible for the program daily to monitor their health and answer any questions. Patients in the program will also receive kits with thermometers and other supplies. 

OSF Healthcare can be reached by phone at 833-673-5669 or online at www.osfhealthcare.org. SIU School of Medicine’s phone number is 217-545-5100 and their website is www.siumed.edu/phw. Advocate Aurora Healthcare is available at 866-443-2584 or through the web at www.advocateaurorahealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019

Ezike said the public health department is getting testing supplies to primary care clinics in Carbondale, Marion, Champaign and Addison, which will be able to test their communities for COVID-19 soon.